Sections

Powers that (want to) be

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Frank Powers, the presumptive Republican candidate for the Bay Ridge congressional seat being vacated by disgraced GOP lawmaker Vito Fossella, introduced himself to the public days after national Democratic Party officials made the rare move of endorsing Staten Island Councilman Mike McMahon in his intra-party primary.

Fossella fell into disgrace after being arrested for drunk driving and then admitting that he sired a child during an extramarital affair.

Powers and local Republicans had been nearly silent since the retired Wall Street financier and current MTA board member won the backing of county leaders on both sides of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge last month for the seat being vacated by Fossella.

This week, Powers, a self-described “conservati­ve,” spoke to The Brooklyn Paper about his candidacy.

Unlike McMahon — a two-term councilman from the north shore of Staten Island — Powers has never run for public office. But he didn’t think that it would be an obstacle.

“You do it by community activism,” said the Bay Ridge–born Powers, who rattled off a list of philanthropic work with Staten Island groups like Staten Island University Hospital, the Sullivan Foundation and the Staten Island Academy.

As a director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Powers is bracing for Democratic broadsides about his affiliation with the embattled agency, but he’s spotlighting his two-and-a-half-year record.

“They can use the MTA as a whipping boy, but you’ve got to look at the full record,” which he says will show he spearheaded the renovation of the 86th Street station in Bay Ridge and got more express buses in both parts of the cross-Narrows district.

Powers said he’ll focus on transportation issues, though he offered no specific ideas for curing the district’s congestion.

“I don’t have an agenda yet, but I suggest you take a ride on the highway at rush hour and you’ll see what I mean,” he said, adding, “We need federal help.”

Assistance is pouring into the race for McMahon from national Democratic Party officials.

“This seat … is going to be one of the very top priorities,” Chris Van Hollen, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said last Friday, supporting McMahon against Bay Ridge lawyer Steve Harrison in the September primary. “We will do whatever is necessary to wage a full-out campaign.”

For his part, Harrison, who lost to Fossella in 2006 by the smallest margin of any of the incumbent’s prior opponents, said the party endorsement is a paper tiger because the party will not bankroll ads or other campaign boosts until the general election.

“It’s kind of a bare endorsement by a person who doesn’t know anything about the district,” he told The Brooklyn Paper.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Robbo says:
Like so many other Republicans this season, Powers is D.O.A.
June 23, 2008, 6:51 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!